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Thursday, 7 March 2019

Don't be harsh on yourself

Years come and go. But 2018 was a very important year in my life. My mantra for the year was not to be harsh on myself. I reaped the benefits of this attitude.

Maintaining a daily journal has been a part of many of my new year resolutions. My cupboard is full of diaries, with a few entries for the month of January. All the following months were blank. In latter years I used those diaries, but just as notebooks. I wrote besides the years which were now a part of the past. At the beginning of the 2018 I again resolved to maintain a journal. But this time there was a change in my attitude. Here is an entry from my journal dated 9th January 2018.

Another year, another diary. Like you all I have many diaries of the years gone by, meticulously written for some days and then the pages were all blank. I utilized those pages after a few years, only as pages of a notebook and not a diary.
But this time around there is change in my outlook. I am relaxed. I am composed. I am not going to be harsh on myself. It is alright if I don’t write for a few days. It is fine if what I write is crap and doesn’t sell. I like the way I am. Believe me this has lifted tonnes off weight (of expectations and self pity) from my chest.

With this attitude I maintained the journal. I didn’t write everyday. There are many pages blank in the diary. But still I wrote far more than what I had written in all these years. I received an acceptance from myself. It sounds so weird but it is true. We don’t accept ourselves the way we are. We keep on finding our own faults and demeaning ourselves.

Here is another entry from my diary
6th February 2018
So much of protocol, rules of behaviour and etiquettes taught to me by my parents and teachers, some times directly, some times indirectly. I followed them scrupulously. But today I realize the burly pressure and tension that it built within me. In retrospect I feel that I should have been more flexible, for these etiquettes are for us and not the other way round.
You can do your best while staying relaxed. Moreover no matter how much you go by the book, there is no guarantee that the to her person will be pleased by your behaviour. There is no assurance that the outcomes will be as expected by you either. So what’s the point in being steadfast with regard to anything? Why not stay relaxed and do your best.
Hence forth no worrying about manners and etiquettes.

When I stopped exerting unwanted mental pressure on myself a wonderful thing happened. Things started falling place on their own. I became more productive. My relationships, including the one which I have with myself, improved. I became relaxed. Hope that you too stop being harsh on yourself.

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